15th November 2018

Other Stories - 16th November 2018

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Drive to work? You could be inhaling the toxins of 180 cigarettes. Researchers in the Netherlands have found that sitting in traffic for an hour a day could be the same as smoking the toxins in 180 cigarettes a year. Although it’s often thought that walking or cycling alongside traffic is worse for inhaling poor quality air, the research shows that pollution inside a car could be up to 140% higher. i News

Single-use is word of the year. Following Attenborough documentaries, plastic bag charges and colossal social media campaigns, the UK seems to be waking up to the environmental disasters caused by plastic waste – so much so that ‘single-use’ has been named as the Collins Dictionary word of the year. According to the dictionary’s lexicographers, it stood out as a term that’s been used significantly more in 2018. It describes items, particularly those made of plastic, that are used only once and then thrown away, such as bottles, straws, coffee cups, cotton buds, kitchen sponges and the list goes on. The Guardian

Speaking of which, will single-use plastic be socially unacceptable by 2021? According to Sky Ocean Rescue’s research, six in ten of the UK population believe it will be. The news comes as research by Green Peace revealed that seven retailers currently put 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging between them into circulation, much of which ends up in landfills and our oceans. Sky News

There’s now a giant mosaic of a suffragette at Birmingham New Street station. The work of art is created by Helen Marshall and made up of selfies of inspiring women sent in from the public. It features 3,724 photos and depicts Hilda Burkitt, a suffragette who was jailed for breaking a window of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith’s train. She went on hunger strike during her sentence and was force-fed 292 times. The mosaic will be on display until 14th December, which is the centenary of the date that some British women first voted in the general election. BBC News

Is social media all that bad? Although a survey last year rated Instagram as the worst social media platform for young people’s mental health, there are instances where it does quite the opposite. For some people, it helps them connect to a support network. People with all sorts of mental health difficulties, from anorexia to anxiety and post-natal depression to emotional struggles due to infertility, are using Instagram to reach out to others. BBC News

Scar-free healing could be just around the corner. The Centre for Conflict Wound Research has opened at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and it is aiming to achieve scar-free healing within a generation. Led by The Scar Free Foundation, it is dedicated to developing new techniques to treat burns, amputations and large cuts. Supporting terror attack victims and injured soldiers, among others with life-changing injuries, the research centre will provide mental health support as well as physical treatments. Daily Mail

A diamond ring has sold for over $44m. Called Pink Legacy, it is the largest known coloured diamond that has been cut. The stone weighs 18.96 carats and is a vivid shade of pink. It is set in a platinum ring edged by smaller diamonds and was sold in auction at Christie’s in Geneva alongside 300 other gems, including diamond and sapphire rings and necklaces covered in diamonds and emeralds. Live Science

A woman in Italy has married herself. Laura Mesi, a 40-year-old fitness instructor, told her friends and family that if she hadn’t found ‘Mr Right’ by the time she was 40 then she would marry herself. What might have been a joke turned into a reality, as she walked herself down the aisle in front of her nearest and dearest gathered there that day. She spent £8,700 on her dress, a ring and a cake, and invited 70 guests to join her at a champagne-filled celebration before she headed to Egypt for a honeymoon. “If one day I find a man with whom I can plan a future I’ll be happy, but my happiness does not depend on him” she said. indy100


Stat of the week

Over 920,000 people have signed a petition to air Iceland’s Christmas advert. It tells the story of an orangutan’s natural habitat being destroyed to make room for palm oil plantations, explaining why the supermarket has stopped using the controversial ingredient in its own-brand products. After getting banned for being ‘too political’, the advert was shared online and it has since been watched over 30 million times. Express

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